Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Party Pak

I do the bulk of my beer buying at Party Pak Liquors just off of Stop 11 and Madison on Indianapolis's south side.

The first time I went there I wasn't expecting what I would find there. The outside of the building isn't very inviting or indicative of what you will find inside it's doors. Walking in you see huge stacks of the big three from floor to ceiling. (The big three are Bud, Miller, and Coors or BMC) and you look to your right hand side and there are rows of shelfs with the best selection you are going to find of craft beer, import beer, or style of beer you could imagine. The store is set up to easily find craft beer from another state, a whole section of just Indiana craft beer, a whole section of just bombers (22 oz bottles), one entire four shelf rack dedicated to Belgium, the same for Germany, England, and Canada.

Something I really like is that ability to break up a six pack and create your own six pack of anything (or 3 pack or 5 pack it's your choice). It's a great way to really start testing your palate and a way to discover what you will and won't like. It isn't much fun buying a sixer of something and taking your first drink and it tastes horrible or doesn't agree with you and you still have 5 unopened beers staring you in the face that you don't want to drink.

My only downfall of this place is pricing labels. I will have to admit that a new person came on taking over the beer section and the labeling problem seems to be getting fixed, but still about the half the store doesn't have pricing, so you have to keep asking the price at the counter, but I think the new guy is getting it fixed. It's so packed in the store with beer it isn't easy to move around, and in the very front of the store it's hard to see what's on the bottom shelf, but that's not a bad problem to have. It can be annoying though.

You will not find a better selection of beer anywhere in Indy. A few others try to come close, but you just can't beat Party Pak.

4.5 Pints out of 5.


CorrND said...

Had my first ever Parti-Pak experience on Saturday. Of course, I drove past it at first because the main sign just says "Discount Liquor" and I was looking for Parti Pak. But what a fun store once I found it!

I was there at about 11am and wandered round and round looking at all they had to offer. 8 or 10 people must have come in and gone while I was there, none of them coming into the microbrew section. Just coming in for their next dose of BMC, I guess. Their loss.

I probably could have spent $100 on beer I had never seen before and wanted to try, but I would have had a hard time with the wife on that one. Instead, I settled on a mixed 6-pack of Bell's Sparkling Ale, Bell's Java Stout, and Clipper City's Below Decks barley wine.

Matt said...

I haven't had the Clipper City barley wine yet, you will have to let me know what you think of it.

CorrND said...

I actually had the Below Decks on Sunday. It was awfully sweet for my taste, especially on the first sip, but I think that's typical of barley wine. (True?)

I enjoyed it more as it warmed, which may have also been due to the warming effects of its 10% abv! At first I thought the sweetness was like rock candy, then decided on cotton candy.

I'm just getting into how to describe beer taste, so I'm sorry that I can't be more descriptive. If you don't mind a beer on the sweeter side, I'd recommend it. At $2.19 per 12oz. bottle, though, I don't think I'll be getting it again anytime soon.

Matt said...

Barleywines can be sweet, but I think the best ones are bitter. My favorite is Behemoth from Three Floyd's. It's pricey for a bomber in at 16 to 19 dollars depending on where you are at, but it's got serious hops and a very high alcohol content.

Another really great barleywine is Stone's. It's usually only about 7 bucks as well when you can find it, and Sierra Nevada makes a kickass barleywine called Bigfoot.